In 1984, a pregnancy support center was started under the auspices of Birthright, Inc. The center was named Birthright of Cumberland,and was located on National Highway in LaVale. Birthright of Cumberland was in operation until late 1994, at which time the affiliation with Birthright USA and Birthright International ceased, and affiliation was changed to The National Life Center. As a result, the name of the local center became 1st Way Pregnancy Support Center, Inc. Although the services offered at the center did not change, the Board of Directors felt that the National Life Center better upheld the principles of the pro-life movement. In January 2012, 1st Way relocated to its current location: 310 Race Street in South Cumberland.
Today, 1st Way is a strong and vital organization in the Allegany County area. It is led by carefully appointed individuals and has an active and supportive Board of Directors. The center utilizes volunteers to work with clients and there is no financial compensation received by anyone affiliated with the pregnancy center. 1st way is funded through private, charitable contributions from community citizens, churches, organizations, businesses, and interest groups. Through such support, the center is sustained and maintained, and future growth will continue to take place.
1st Way, albeit a staunchly pro-life organization, is governed by a diverse pool of people from the greater community, who ensure that the center runs efficiently and soundly. 1st Way strives to maintain dignity, caring, and sound operating principles at all levels, but especially for the clients it serves. 1st Way has come over the years to adopt the following cardinal principle: “the greatest gift a parent can give to a child is the gift of LIFE.”